Valparaiso Parks Department offers many activities this month. Call (219) 462-5144, visit www.valpoparks.org or visit the parks office at 3210 N. Campbell St., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Youth Baseball Leagues
The Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth baseball leagues with the Valpo Parks give the community several league options for youth ages 7 through 15. Valpo Parks strives to maintain a balance between teaching progressive baseball skills, sportsmanship, and healthy competition.
The Rookie League of Cal Ripken baseball is for 7- and 8-year-olds. The 10-game schedule includes weeknight games at 6 p.m. and Saturday games plus an end of season single-elimination tournament. New this year is the pitching aspect; players start with a pitching machine and transition to player pitch by the end of the season. Games are at Westside Park. Price is $60/$72. Register by May 10.
Babe Ruth baseball is for ages 13-15 as of April 30. The regular season games will begin at the end of April through June. Games will be played weekday evenings and Saturdays. Price is $110/$122, and registration must be completed by today.
The age for each league’s participation is the age of the youth as of April 30, 2013.
Adult Sports Leagues
Softball rosters for the adult men’s and women’s leagues are available. All games are played at Fairgrounds Park fields. Roster deadline is Wednesday. Price is $590 per team plus any nonresident fees.
Adult soccer league rosters are also available with the deadline of April 17. Price is $725 per team plus any nonresident fees. Individuals are able to sign up and be placed on a team for $75/$87.
T-Ball League for ages 4 to 6
Four- and 5-year-olds will play traditional T-ball, while 6-year-olds will transition from the tee to a coach pitch during the season. Teams play five weeknight games and three Saturday games. Ages for participation are the child’s age as of April 30. Price is $50/62. Register by May 10.
Youth baseball officials needed
Umpires are needed for spring and summer youth baseball programs. Applicants must be at least 17 years of age and be familiar with the game of baseball. Games are played weeknights from 6 PM and also on Saturdays. Certification and training will be provided to those who are selected to be on the seasonal baseball umpire staff. Interested applicants can apply online at www.valpoparks.org under the “I Want to…” tab or come in to 3210 N. Campbell for an application.
Classes at the Valpo Parks Discovery Cottage get kids ready: ready for kindergarten, ready to study, ready for friendships. Children will participate in a wide variety of activities including playing games, performing experiments and creating crafts. Several new options are available for 3- to 5-year-olds. Children can be enrolled in classes according to the day of the week, or by theme. Price varies by class length.
The next session of T’ai Chi is March 26 through May 15. It will help enhance coordination, concentration, deep breathing, relaxation of the body and inner energy flow. The one-hour classes for Beginner through Advanced take place at 605 Beech Street in the Banta building. Price is $75.
Duneland Ballroom has teamed up with Valpo Parks. The eight-week sessions will cover both salsa and swing. Swing sessions will include big band themes, plus contemporary rock, country, and top 40 music so everyone will enjoy it. Salsa has a strong Latin beat and will have you dancing in no time. Sign up soon, space is limited. Price is $75/87 per couple or $40/52 per individual. Classes begin April 22 and are held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays.
Valpo Tri 2013
Online registration is now open for the 11th Valpo Tri that takes place on July 13 at Rogers-Lakewood Park. Go to www.valpotri.net to sign up online for the USAT-sanctioned race. The Valpo Tri is a short-distance triathlon that begins with a .25 mile swim, transitions to a 12.4 mile bike, and concludes with a 3.2 mile run.
Golf Programs for March at Creekside Golf Course
Several different golf sessions are available for ages 3 to 18 years on Fridays and Saturdays throughout March. Check out the Junior 101 and 202 classes for ages 9 to 18, Lil’ Tigers for 3- to 5-year-olds and Linksters Academy for ages 6 to 8. Youngsters can attend one session or all of them, each session incorporating different aspects of the game of golf. Prices range from $15 to $30 per class plus range balls.
The First Tee sessions
During the schools’ spring break, The First Tee Session is available. Youth will learn life skill and character lessons are taught while learning to play the game of golf. The March session is 10 hours of instruction plus time on the course. Appropriate for 7 to 12 year olds. Participants are grouped by age. The First Tee will run from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday through March 29. Tuition for the week-long session is $110. Registration is required.
Juniors of all skill levels are instructed by LPGA teaching professional Nancy Bender at Creekside Golf Course and Training Center at 2355 Clifford Road in Valparaiso. Programs are offered every month throughout the year. For complete details and information on monthly golf instruction programs, log on to www.nancybender.com or contact Nancy Bender at 219.531.PUTT (7888).
Porter County parks
Porter County parks officials offer a variety of activities for all ages. Call (219) 465-3586.
This free year-round club is led by experienced trail runners. The group meets from 8 to 9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at Sunset Hill Farm and generally runs about five miles.
Bring your pet on a leash for a walk on the trails at Sunset Hill Farm County Park with fellow dog lovers. This program is free and open to the public, and takes place at 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday until May 30. Jenna Martin, a registered nurse, will lead the group and offer health tips along the way.
Acrylic painting lessons
All skill levels are welcome to attend this adult art class under the guidance of an experienced instructor on the first Monday of each month at the South Haven Public Library, 403 W. 700 North. The cost of the program is $10 and a painting surface will be provided.
This youth painting class is for all skill levels, focusing on painting expressions. It will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month at the Sunset Hill Farm Program Center. The cost is $8 and supplies are included in the fee.
Acrylic Painting Lessons in Hebron
All skill levels are welcome to attend this adult art class under the guidance of an experienced instructor from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at the Hebron Community Center, 611 N. Main St. The cost of the program is $8 and a painting surface will be provided.
Feeding Time at the Farm
This free program is offered 9 to 10 April 3 and allows children to come to Sunset Hills Farm to meet the goats, chickens and pony and help them get ready for their day.
Women’s Walk Club
Join group leader Jenna Martin, a registered nurse, for a walk along the trails from 8 to 9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at Sunset Hill Farm.
Open Art Studio with Acrylics
All skill levels are welcome to attend this weekly adult art class and create a project of their choice under the guidance of an experienced instructor. Classes take place from 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday and from 10 a.m. to noon every Saturday at the Sunset Hill Farm County Park Program Center. Cost is $5 if students bring their own painting surface or $10 if a surface is provided by instructor.
Senior Hike – Spring Bird Hike
Seniors are invited to learn about the winter homes of the wildlife at Sunset Hill Farm through indoor education and a short hike from 3 to 4 p.m. April 3.
Raising a Little Health – 500-Mile Club
The goal of this 16-week program is to get participants regularly walking 4.5 miles per day. Participants will meet with group leader Jenna Martin, R.N., at Sunset Hill Farm every Wednesday through May 15. The program costs $50 and will offer support, journaling, education and endurance training for the moderately active participant. Must be at least 18 years of age.
The Portage Parks Department offers a variety of programs. The office is at 2100 Willowcreek Road. Call (219) 762-1675.
Jewelry, gem show
2013 Jewelry, Gem and More Show consists of jewelry, candy, day spas, nail salons and anything else that could pamper moms and girlfriends. The show will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 4 at Woodland Park. Admission is free. Vendors are still needed, particularly flower shops, massage businesses, day spas and nail salons. For vendor information, call (219) 762-1675 or download an application at www.ci.portage.in.us/parks. Booth spaces are $25, and a table and chairs are provided.
Register monthly for each session. Classes are held Wednesdays in Sycamore Hall at Woodland Park. The cost is $25 per month, ages 18 and older. Good for all skill levels.
Riverwalk concession stand
The concessions stand has reopened. Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. The classroom is open during operating hours and there is free Wi-Fi. Call (219) 763-7138 for soup of the week.
The festival's juried art show is open to all artists who produce original art. The fine art mediums include glass, wood, oils, watercolor, mixed media, pencil, pastels, pottery, jewelry and photography. The entry deadline is Aug. 2. There is a nonrefundable $20 jury fee. Juried artists will have to pay an additional $55 entry fee. This is an indoor show Oct. 5 and 6 at Woodland Park. Call the parks office for an artist’s application or download an application at www.ci.portage.in.us/parks.
Parks officials have partnered with Young Champions Cheerleading to offer a fun course designed to teach choreographed pom-pom and dance routines in a fun, social environment. No experience needed. The current session has begun but late registrations are accepted. There is an initial $7 registration fee and $7 per class at Woodland Park.
For all ages 3 and up, learn from a certified instructor from Achievement Martial Arts with more than 13 years of teaching experience. Students will build confidence, self-esteem and life skills. The program runs April 10 to May 31 at Achievement Martial Arts, 3394 Willowcreek Road. The cost for 3- to 5-year-olds is $50/residents, $60/nonresidents; for ages 6-plus, it is $80/residents, $90/nonresidents. Register by April 9 at Woodland Park.
Adult softball league
Season starts April 14. Games begin at 6 p.m. and are played at Imagination Glen Park. Choose between men’s upper and lower, women’s, and coed divisions. Download a roster form online at www.ci.portage.in.com. The cost is $500/team.
Mother son dance is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. May 3 at Woodland Park's Sycamore Hall. Register by April 24. The cost is $36 a couple for Portage Township residents and $41 for nonresidents.
Ballroom Dance Lessons
Each monthly session will be held at Woodland Park. For dates, times, and fees, contact Instructor, Mary Chandler at bluemoondance.net